August 25th, 2008
11:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Gergen: Michelle Obama rescued the night

Michelle Obama rescued the night, Gergen says.
Michelle Obama rescued the night, Gergen says.

The Democrats should be enormously grateful to Michelle Obama: after a very slow start to the convention, punctuated by a moving tribute to Teddy Kennedy and his own rousing speech, the first evening was in danger of becoming an entirely lost opportunity. But Michelle rescued it.

She was extraordinary, talking in ways that were both conversational - always welcome in people's living room - but also inspiring. She spoke in ways that reached out to people of all backgrounds. Democrats should be both proud and grateful.

It is impossible to know whether how many people will accept her message. To a significant degree, that is of course because she represents such a departure from the traditional order of things in America. She represents a new future - of women who are not only devoted mothers and wives but also highly educated, caring people ... and, yes, African-Americans, Hispanics, and people of many diferent backgrounds. One day the country will be there. Is it prepared to be there now? I'm frankly not sure. We are living through one of the most important chapters in the American story

soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. Sen.McCain't Change

    Personally, i believe that even with this being my first Convention...i was not disappointed at all..although i was peed off at the fact that there was more commentary than Convention! geez..just cover it already!.. someone meanstioned in the other post that Michelle bombed..buzzzzz... wrong answer..she was THE bomb!!!

    go Barak and Michelle!!!!(oh and Biden too..lol)

    August 26, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  2. Elizabeth

    She sparkled and touched my heart. Good job, Mrs. Obama! You are our next First Lady.

    August 26, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  3. Matthew

    No kidding! It is funny to see all of these commentators claim that the DNC failed to criticize Bush and McCain enough, but they didn't even bother to listen to the speeches of Pelosi or Leach. I should have watched another channel, like PBS, where I could have actually listened to the speakers.

    August 26, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  4. Doris

    The media is full of "you know what"??? I agree w/Dave. CNN is not fair and just. If you are going to cover the convention....cover all of it and leave that MAP alone until after the convention!!! You all are not mind readers.

    August 26, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  5. Matthew Luck

    It was an amazing night. Perhaps if the pundits would simply report the news rather than trying to make the news the American public might finally have the chance to judge our future leaders based on the merit and substance of their beliefs and convictions. I for one am absolutely fed up with the condescending innuendo of the " best/worst political team on TV"

    August 26, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  6. Deanna Woodham

    CNN did not cover the speeches of Pelosi or Leach. I had to switch to CSPAN to hear from the speakers. CNN= Politics is a farce. They only want to hear themselves pontificate. Your audience missed a great portion of the evening. Poor coverage!!!!!!!!!!!! And then to top it off, they have the Republicans criticizing the Democrats. Your score card for the evening is an "F."

    August 26, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  7. KEMIT-SOUL

    SHAME ON YOU CNN. YOUR COVERAGE OF THE FIRST DAY OF THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION WAS NEARLY INEXISTANT. YOU USE THIS CONVENTIION AS A PLATFORM FOR A PUNDITS DEBATE INSTEAD OF ALLOWING THE VIEWERS TO WATCH THE CONVENTION. I THOUGHT YOU WERE PAID BY THE GOP. SHAME ON YOU AGAIN AND AGAIN. IT IS HIGH TIME FOR AN EMERGENCE OF A STRONG COMPETITOR IN 24H CABLE NEWS. MSNBC WAS VERY HELPFUL TO ME AND I THANK THEM FOR THEIR PROFESSIONALISM. SHAME ON YOU WOLF BLITZER, SHAME ON YOU PAUL BEGALA, SHAME ON YOU JOHN KING, SHAME ON YOU GLORIA BORGER, SHAME ON YOU JAMES CARVILLE. YOU ARE NOTHING BUT SUBJECTS OF THE CLINTONS MONARCHY. YOU HAVE NO SPINE......

    August 26, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  8. Proud PUMA!

    Sorry, there's only one woman for me... and her name's Hillary...

    PUMAs Unite – Vote McCAIN in 2008 – So we can vote HILLARY in 2012 !!!!!

    August 26, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  9. Scott Mayhew

    PBS had full coverage (but unfortunately david brooks - what a tool, gets everything wong...he's like the Roeper of Political discourse)...

    Anyway...PBS rocks. People should watch that and skip all the commercial junk...

    August 26, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  10. Tedd

    Michelle was articulate and poised, yet showed us her "everyday" self as well as the "polished and smart" woman she is. She clearly supports the values and goals of working americans and will be of great value to the effort to elect Obama as a part of the effort to reach those goal and realize those values. WTG Michelle!

    August 26, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  11. Andy from Atlanta

    Thank you Michelle Obama.

    August 26, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  12. edy

    i love it she like obamamania

    August 26, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  13. Brian, Pittsburgh

    What convention were you watching? I thought it was filled with great speeches, and real Americans talking about real issues. The tribute to Kennedy and his speech were both inspiring. Michelle Obama also did a wonderful job with a moving speech and showed people that they are just normal people with hopes and dreams. But I don't think the convention needed any "rescuing".

    August 26, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  14. Mike

    Is she still proud to be an American for the first time in her life, though? I almost think she more unfit to be the First Lady than he is of being President, which is saying quite a bit. McCain/Romney 08-12

    August 26, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  15. ptu

    Agreed with Dave.

    Carville and Gergen are out of touch belt-way insiders, and CNN does a hack job on the coverage. When they're not creating rumors of strife with the Clintons they're begging for red meat.

    I would say that 80% of CNN's coverage is negative, whether it be Republican or Democrat. As Jon Stewart noted earlier, cable news first develops an image of what it thinks the viewer wants and then does its best to provide it. (I heard Campbel Brown speculate that Carter did not speak because the Obama campaign did not want to offend Jewish voters; although he did not speak for Kerry as well, turning his request down.)

    Terrible journalism, if you can call it that.

    August 26, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  16. Ken, LA California

    MacCains presidency is very easy to imagine, a Military command where no one questions his decisions. New wars at a split moment. Tax breaks to the wealthy, oil companies included, appointment of judges to reverse rove vs wade. Womens right to vote reversed.

    August 26, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  17. Jane

    I watched on CSpan and since there were no talking heads it was a great event. Gee David, sorry tha you have to keep talking and talking to fill up 24 hrs, but if you had watched and listened to the whole thing like I did, you would have had a very different view. Just because the Democrats have someone to honor and history to make, and don't want to spend every second of this celebration talking about John McCain, I don't see it was wasted. I can't wait for the Republicans – they have let Bush and Cheney speak – that will be rivetiong. How does McCain escape that?

    August 26, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  18. Tupac

    So GOP defines Michelle Obama as an elitist... then what is Cindy McCain? I saw an independent women who put had the drive to put herself through college and law school; nothing was handed to her she went and got it. Isn't that what America is about, the opportunity to become more then you are.

    That’s the type of role model that I want my niece to look up to; self made strong independent women, she doesn’t need a man to define her she can stand on her own two feet. I found it amusing that she mentored the next president of the United States when he was an intern.

    August 26, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  19. Isaac

    David Gergen well said! Additionally I agree that CNN's coverage was lacking.

    August 26, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  20. John

    I echo the comments of Dave. It wasn't just CNN but also MSNBC and FOXNews. Some of us want to watch the actual convention. Commentary between speakers is fine but while they're speaking borders on rudeness.

    August 26, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  21. Mr. Bohn

    It is bout time for the American people to Barack Obama. He doesn't have to be a war hero for the Americans to believe him. Barack saw the need for equality and justice that why he turned down Walls Street to encourage them rejected people that the American Dream is real. He makes me understand that once u work hard u will make it in this great country.

    August 26, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  22. Gabriel

    I have to say I started watching the convention on CNN, but when I saw that they were actually so obsessed with letting their talking heads spew the same regurgitated punditocracy talking points over and over again, instead of actually letting people see the Democratic National Convention, I quickly switched to PBS' coverage, which (as it should have been elsewhere) showed all of the speeches and waited for intermissions to give their analyses. Shame on cable news for wasting the public's time and attention with their endless blather. But I suppose if they didn't stop doing this after the first thousand times we've told them to stop, why would they now?

    August 26, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  23. bob in LA

    Did we watch the same convention?
    Had CNN let us hear all the speakers instead of thier talking heads , there may have been substance. Just what did Nancy Pelosi have to say?
    We heard from Jesse Jackson Jr about the vision of the future (setup)
    Then we heard Carolyn Kennedy speak about the past, her father and her uncle ( the present ) and then the main event- Michelle ( the finish)
    Michelle was OK, but far from captivating. The remark about Hillary 100% pandering. The shmaltz at the end with Obama who did not even know what city he was in,sad.
    The concept of the evening was to set the stage for future nights. You want substance- watch Hillary and Mark Warren. Not enough? Bill Clinton and Joe Biden- shuld be sharp and enlightening. And, with any sort of luck, Obama will finally say something in one of his speeches instead of saying its all on the website (code for send money)
    Withthe networks only covering one hour a day, don't expect too much
    in the extended cable coverage.

    August 26, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  24. John

    Please let us listen to all the speakers tomorrow night. We can watch Wolf and Andersen diagnose and review any time. The convention was on five channels (on my TV) and they all switched to journalist discussions a number of time when I just wanted to listen to the speakers.

    August 26, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  25. AA ATLANTA

    I agree, I had to run to the laptop to hear the speeches on the issues and Pelosi did ht hard on the differences in the candidates.
    CNN should the talk until after each speaker or after the program. Remember most of the folks we need to convince to vote Democratiic and for Obama do not have computer or do not use it for the purpose of viewing videos. I am older and just got into this, i like to see it on TV.

    August 26, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
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